The Ulster Unionist Party’s representative on the Policing Board, Mike Nesbitt MLA, has called on the Justice Minister Naomi Long to publish the legal advice she received which told her it was not even worth investigating whether or not Gerry Kelly should be removed from the Policing Board, following complaints about a tweet he issued regarding the Maze prison escape.
Mike Nesbitt MLA said:
“I find it extraordinary that the advice the Justice Minister has received says it is not even worth investigating. It should be remembered that concerns about Gerry Kelly do not merely relate to the tweet in question. There are other factors to be considered, not least the removal with bolt cutters of a lawfully applied wheel-clamp.
“Unless the Justice Minister is prepared to publish the legal advice she has received, she will be open to accusations of hiding behind it. So much for the openness and transparency that was promised in the New Decade New Approach.
"Further, it is typical of Mrs Long that she criticises me in her ruling, for failing to put more effort into seeking an informal resolution to my complaint. Anyone with an ounce of political nous would have worked out in milliseconds that an informal resolution was never going to be possible, given there were multiple individuals and organisations lodging complaints over the Gerry Kelly tweet. The Vice Chair of the Policing Board got that immediately. I regret it has to be pointed out to the only person who had the power to actually do something."